STAY TO THE WHISTLE

23/02/18

City's recent run of late goals highlights the importance of Farke's high-intensity training sessions. Here's Dave Phillips on why you, like the team, should stick it out to the end and reap the rewards too...

If the recent Norwich games have taught us anything it's to stay until the bitter, or these days the sweetest, end.

I've left Norwich games early 3 times as far as I can recall:

  1. Leaving Blackburn in order to get a train back to Nottingham: we were leading 1-0 when we left (a Daryl Sutch screamer) and we heard the equaliser as we stepped into our cab...but I'm still counting it as a 1-0 win because I didn't see the equalising goal
  2. Wolves away - I think this was during Mike Walker's second spell as boss and we got thumped 5-0...I left about 5 mins before the end and also got a parking ticket for my trouble
  3. Charlton away when we got relegated to League One with a whimper.I was suitably mardy, so left and went to the pub

Jamal Lewis scored his first goal for the club within stoppage time against Chelsea.Then, I saw the posts on social media of Norwich fans leaving the ground only to try rushing back in as Klose scored. I wonder if those fans thought they could emulate Superman and run back into the stadium so quickly that they turn back time and get to see the goal go in?

Follow that with the last kick of the game from easily 35 yards to equalise against Wolves and those words from Jerome as he left for Derby no longer seem as worrying: "It's been hit and miss - and it's been new to me.The manager at Norwich has come in with a different philosophy. It's in every day, with no days off, and British-based players aren't used to that sort of thing.It's 10, 12, 15 kilometres you are covering in training daily, so as a 31-year-old, that's not exactly ideal."

When I saw CJ's comments, I wondered if we might be over training.But, based upon recent events, perhaps these training sessions are exactly why we have been able to keep going for longer than 90 mins?

Apparently, an average footballer (and we've had plenty of those in our time) runs 10-11 Km per match, so 10-15 Km per training day doesn't seem that extreme.

Even with physical stamina there's another thing I have learned about our team these past few weeks.Something that was apparent during the Lambert years and a bit hit and miss since: a never say die attitude.

In each of those recent games we could have been forgiven for expecting the match to wind down into a hard to take defeat - after all, we have seen that happen many times.But this feels like a change in attitude - to paraphrase a saying:

Once is chance - Twice is coincidence - Third time is a pattern.

Play to the whistle.Stay to the whistle.

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Phew. Where do you begin with that one? A day to remember that began with hundreds of City's diverse fanbase congregating together for a sing-song and ended with celebrations drenched in sweet, sweet schadenfreude. Oh no. How awful...

A half full of verve, tempo and chances was ultimately followed by a 45 much akin to City's performances of late 2017. Tom Parsley and Jon Punt take a look at Farke's frustration, Christoph the Colossus and much much more....